How can hypnotherapy help with sugar addiction?
"I can’t stop eating sugar" is something that I hear often. "I think I am addicted to it", is another thing that I hear.
Sugar is such a hard substance to stop eating because it does have these addictive qualities to it. When we eat it, it causes feel-good hormones to release from our brains - dopamine. This floods our system which gives us this little hit. This hit feels good, and it is like an electrical current going off in our brains that drives us to want more and more of this substance. Not only does it give us this psychological and chemical high, but it also gives a physical high in that it tastes good. It has a lovely melty, warming texture that adds to the feel-good of it. Who can resist that?
We often think it is about willpower, that we need to abstain – but I will tell you now, willpower has nothing to do with it. Just like any other addiction, abstaining is not always the answer, nor is it possible. This is where food differs so much from drugs or alcohol. You can abstain from drugs and alcohol, you do not need them to live, but sugar is hidden in so many of our foods and we need food to live.
How can you stop? More importantly, why do you want to stop? An addiction is not as simple as not being able to not have a substance. It is defined into four categories. When we can break this down, it helps us to see what our issue is. With this, we can work out in what way our sugar addiction is infringing on our lives. This is where it is helpful to know how hypnotherapy can help with our issue.
Categories of substance use symptoms
Not being able to cut down on a substance or using more of a substance than intended.
The substance in this case is sugar. You may find you are not able to stop eating sweets or chocolate and eating way more than you would have liked. Hypnotherapy can help you have an aversion to these by developing a dislike for them. Together with a therapist, you would also become aware of when you start dipping into sugar and explore what is behind your eating pattern. We can then look for alternatives to sugar.
Neglecting responsibilities and relationships. Giving up activities because of substance abuse. An inability to complete tasks.
At first glance, you may think this does not apply to sugar. Though sugar could have these effects in an insidious way. You may not want to do activities because of your weight. You may start neglecting yourself because you do not like your body. This could be attributed to some of the sugar that you have been eating. In Hypnotherapy the aim is to start liking yourself again, boosting your self-esteem so you feel better about yourself. When we feel good from within, we take better care of what food we are eating, and we feel confident and want to do activities that we love again.
Using a substance in risky settings. Continuing to use the substance despite the known problems.
Perhaps the risky settings are not going to relate to sugar. I can’t imagine anyone going into a dark alley to put a spoon of sugar into their tea. However, you may still be eating the sweets and chocolate even if you are ill. You could have been diagnosed with diabetes or something else but still can’t stop eating sugar. Hypnotherapy can help you talk about your health and how sugar is affecting your life and help you look at what’s important to you. It can help you gain a positive perspective and help you to find a deeper meaning in your life.
Needing more of the substance to get the same effect. Having withdrawal symptoms when a substance is not used.
You may experience slowly over time eating more and more sugar to feel the same high that you did. It is not going to be a quick high like you would experience with drugs. It would be a subtle high. That subtle high is dangerous though because you may not even notice it, but you would notice it if you didn’t have it.
Hypnotherapy can help you with your sugar addiction in three steps
1. Avoiding. Helping you to avoid sugar by working on changing habits to healthier ones.
2. Exploring. Understanding the root cause of your addiction. Why is it there?
3. Healing. Working on the parts that are hanging onto the addiction.
As well as talking through and exploring those parts, hypnotherapy helps you to build your self-esteem. It helps you to release the addiction by knowing why the addiction was there and healing from within to be able to let it go. It is a lovely, relaxing feeling that helps you to feel good.